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Toronto's Mini House

Squeezed into a 14-foot-wide lot along a Toronto street originally developed for worker housing in the 1880s is fingerprint technician and musician Patrick Flynn’s 566-square-foot house by Linebox Studio. Now defined by a multitude of architectural styles, the street’s character has changed but the tiny lot sizes, resulting in homes that measure between 300 and 500 square feet, have remained. Flynn’s home—considered large by its surrounding standards—was conceptualized by Andrew Reeves, principal at Linebox, in close concert with the owner, a true minimalist who owns only a handful of T-shirts and sleeps on a yoga mat on an upstairs perch in the home. “What I hoped to really get at was a simple, industrial house with no ornamentation—very small and not excessive,” says Flynn. The resulting double-height structure, clad in concrete and Galvalume, “is totally green by scale,” says Reeves, who has dedicated a blog to the project. “It’s rare to be able to design a space around someone willing to go that stripped down and minimalist, with very raw materials.”

The house reaches above the neighboring homes but remains architecturally united; its windows reference those of the house immediately next door. “The neighbors’ houses on either side vary in their setbacks, so we found a compromise that would work with both,” notes the architect. Photo courtesy Linebox Studio.

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